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FAQs about Vision Restoration Therapy – Help for Stroke and Brain Injury Patients

NovaVision, Inc. developed Vision Restoration Therapy to help stroke and head injury patients regain their vision, mobility, confidence, and quality of life. Learn the answers to frequently asked questions about the basics of vision rehabilitation, including how long the therapy takes, how it works, and more.

What is Vision Restoration Therapy?

NovaVision® Vision Restoration Therapy (VRT) is an FDA-cleared, patented, non-invasive medical device that may enhance visual field loss in stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with neurological visual deficits. While speech, physical and occupational therapies are the long-standing treatment standards for stroke and TBI survivors, VRT is the first FDA-cleared clinical application of vision rehabilitation for neurological visual deficits.

Visual field loss prevents patients from engaging in many normal day-to-day activities such as, reading, dining out, walking without bumping into things, and driving. In a retrospective study, more than 70 percent of patients who completed VRT showed measurable improvements in their vision that enhanced their quality of life.1

1 Romano JG, et al, Visual field changes after a rehabilitation intervention: Vision Restoration therapy, J Neurol Sci (2008), doi:10.1016/j.jns.2008.06.026 (NovaVision sponsored study)

What vision defects can be treated with Vision Restoration Therapy?

NovaVision Vision Restoration Therapy is cleared by the FDA to treat visual impairments caused by stroke, brain injury, brain tumors, and brain surgery.

Vision Restoration Therapy can treat any of the following vision defects:

  • Hemianopia (decreased or lost vision in one half of the visual field)
  • Quadrantanopia (decreased or lost vision in one quarter of the visual field)
  • Scotoma (island of visual impairment)
  • Diffuse field defect , including constriction of the field of vision (tunnel vision) caused by a tumor, brain surgery, or brain disorders

 
Who is eligible for Vision Restoration Therapy?

Most patients with visual field defects such as hemianopia, scotoma and quadrantanopia are eligible for Vision Restoration Therapy and may benefit from the treatment. However, there are certain conditions in which VRT may not be suitable. Those with serious eye disease and significant cognitive deficits may find that their condition interferes with VRT. In addition, we recommend that patients suffering from acute central nervous system or eye disease delay therapy until the acute phase is over.

VRT requires significant concentration and attention. Those with significant cognitive difficulties that would preclude understanding the instructions or maintaining attention for 30 minutes usually are not appropriate candidates for this version of VRT.

If your visual acuity is worse than 20/200, you may not be able to detect the stimuli reliably and therefore you should not complete VRT. Our screening tool is a good indicator of whether you can perform VRT successfully.


Can myopia or farsightedness be treated with Vision Restoration Therapy?

VRT is indicated only to treat visual impairments caused by neurological disorders such as stroke, head injuries, and brain tumors at this time. Refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, or presbyopia are not treated with VRT.


 

Does the amount of time since an injury affect whether a patient qualifies for VRT?

The time between the injury and beginning therapy is not significant. There have been many successful outcomes for patients who suffered vision loss decades before receiving the therapy. One such case was that of a World War II veteran who benefited from VRT.


Does vision rehabilitation have any age limitations?

There are no age restrictions for patients interested in vision rehabilitation after suffering a stroke or brain injury. The only requirement is that the patient must be able to concentrate for the hour a day it takes to perform the therapy.


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